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Erakovic through to Wimbledon main draw

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 24/06/2016

Marina Erakovic will face American Irina Falconi in the first round at Wimbledon after advancing through qualifying.

Falconi is ranked 72nd in the world while Erakovic is 149th. They have clashed once previously, with the Kiwi winning in three sets in 2011 in Quebec City.

If Erakovic wins her first round match, she'll play either former world No.1 Jelena Jankovic or Swiss player Stefanie Voegele in round two.

The New Zealand No.1 earned her spot in the main draw after beating higher-ranked Russian Irina Khromacheva 7-6 6-3 in their third-round qualifying clash.

It will be the seventh time Erakovic has made the main draw at Wimbledon.

The Kiwi world No.149 has been eliminated in the first round of her two most recent visits to Wimbledon.

Her best performances were third-round exits, in 2008 and 2013.

Erakovic said she was happy to survived the week, particularly given the challenging conditions.

"It was a difficult five days - tough matches, rain delays and dealing with slippery courts made it a big challenge to compete this week," she said.

"Today's match in particular required a lot of patience and focus, as it was very windy and we had to wait two days to play.

"Overall, I'm happy with how I'm playing on the grass, and I feel I'm improving every day."

Meanwhile, the three Kiwi men's doubles players have had their draws confirmed.

Sixteenth seeds Michael Venus and Croatian partner Mate Pavic will face Australian Chris Guccione and Brazil's Andre Sa in the first round.

Marcus Daniell and American Brian Baker face 13th-seeded Colombians Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah while Artem Sitak and Austrian Julian Knowle are drawn against Brazilian Marcelo Demoliner and Pakistan's Aisam Qureshi.

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